ISLAMABAD: Authorities in northwest Pakistan have launched a crackdown against banned terrorist groups like Lashkar-e-Toiba that are engaged in relief efforts for flood victims and closed down 16 camps set up by these organisations.
The government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province decided on Sunday to act against outlawed terrorist groups involved in collecting donations for flood victims by using different names, media reports said today.
The provincial government has so far closed 16 relief camps established by groups with terror links, including the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, a front of LeT, which has been blamed by India for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Relief camps established in Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda, Swat, Dir, Dera Ismail Khan, Shangla and other flood-affected districts were among those closed down. Details about the closure of the relief camps have been sent to the central Interior Ministry by the provincial government.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government acted after receiving reports that outlawed terrorist groups like the LeT and JuD had been collecting donations for flood victims by using different names and by disguising their actual leadership.
The provincial government issued directives to all district administration chiefs to strictly monitor the activities of banned groups involved in collecting donations for victims of the devastating floods that swept northwest Pakistan.
The central government had last week directed all provinces not to allow banned or militant groups to operate in the garb of relief activities for flood victims. It had also directed the provinces to set up a task force headed by a senior police officer to identify the groups involved in relief efforts and initiate action against them.
The central government acted following widespread concerns expressed by the West about militant groups, including the LeT and Taliban, getting access to international aid and raising funds in the name of the flood victims. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has formed special police forces to keep an eye on activities of banned groups in flood-hit areas.